Battle over next Dalai Lama begins by Chinese law | Eurasia Diary -

23 October, Wednesday

Battle over next Dalai Lama begins by Chinese law

Communist Party says reincarnation must comply with Chinese law, after current Tibetan spiritual leader admitted to hospital.

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The next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese law, the Communist Party has said, setting the stage for a battle over who will be Tibet's next spiritual leader.


Asked about the current Dalai Lama’s hospitalisation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing was not aware of his physical condition, but added that there are “clear rules” regarding the reincarnation of “the living Buddha”.

“Reincarnation of living Buddhas, including the Dalai Lama, must comply with Chinese laws and regulations and follow religious rituals and historical conventions,” he said.

In Tibetan Buddhist belief, the soul of its most senior lama is reincarnated into the body of a child but “who will succeed the Dalai Lama when he dies remains both unclear and contentious”, says the BBC.

Asked in a recent interview with Reuters what might happen after his death, the Dalai Lama anticipated a possible attempt by Beijing to foist a successor on Tibetan Buddhists.

“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in a free country, one is chosen by Chinese, and then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese. It's possible, it can happen,” he said.

“It isn’t completely clear whether the Dalai Lama will allow himself to be reincarnated after he dies,” Westcott writes, adding “the Tibetan spiritual leader has hinted in recent years that he might be the last person to hold the title.”

Without a successor, there is concern that the death of Tibet’s spiritual leader could provoke a renewed suppression of the region’s culture and people.

Although technically atheist, the Chinese regime claims to allow a certain level of religious freedom.

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